About Us

Communications Strategy

Goal

The overarching goal of the Foundation’s communications is to support our work to advance inclusion and opportunity for individuals and communities facing the greatest barriers to opportunity. As such:

  1. We are committed to thoughtful and transparent communication with nonprofit organizations. We provide clear and accessible information regarding our grantmaking to the nonprofit community so that organizations advancing equity can be successful in accessing Foundation funding.

  2. The Foundation believes that funders are most effective when they solicit and incorporate feedback from grantees and applicants. Therefore, we engage in listening, learning and dialogue with nonprofit and community leaders.

  3. The Foundation seeks to promote learning and collaboration across sectors. We share information with the nonprofit sector, the philanthropic community and government and business leaders regarding lessons learned in our grantmaking practices and our work to advance equity.

Strategies

In all of our communications, we are committed to maintaining high-quality interactions, clarity of messages, and a strong commitment to responsiveness. We emphasize quality over quantity—potent and meaningful communication that provides real value for our audience. We don’t shy away from engaging in issues that may bring discomfort, and prioritize diverse voices and stories of communities facing the most obstacles to opportunity.

  1. Website. The Foundation’s website serves as the primary resource for individuals to learn about the Weingart Foundation. As such, the website is the cornerstone of our communications efforts. We strive to maintain clear and accessible information regarding: the Foundation’s mission, goals, and values; our grantmaking practice, priorities and guidelines; the process for applying; and how to contact us. The website is also a venue for grantees and the philanthropic community to access information on the field.

  2. Direct nonprofit engagement. In addition to the website and the grantmaking process, the Foundation proactively engages grantees and the larger nonprofit and philanthropic communities in ongoing direct communication. We conduct regular “listening tours” and focus groups in the nonprofit community; sponsor, attend, or present at special funder and nonprofit convenings; and communicate with key philanthropic and civic thought leaders. Periodically, we organize grantee conference calls and webinars on areas and issues that are of importance to the grantee community.

  3. Media. The Foundation uses our voice and influence to address key issues of importance to nonprofits and philanthropy that advance racial, social and economic equity in Southern California. This can take the form of op eds, letters to the editor, press releases, and interviews with the press. We engage with the media judiciously, and based on alignment with our values and strategies.

Current Areas of Focus

In alignment with the FY 2019 and FY 2020 Program Plan, the Foundation’s communications strategy prioritizes:

  • Support of policies and practices that will result in meaningful policy and systems change to advance fairness, inclusion and opportunity, and to expand support to communities that have traditionally been sidelined.

  • Advocacy for grantmaking policy and practice that supports and strengthens the nonprofit sector, especially in historically under-resourced communities. This includes Unrestricted Operating Support and full-cost funding.

  • Engagement with applicants and grantees to continuously learn, refine and improve our grantmaking practice, and refine our grantmaking strategies.

  • Announcement of the FY 2019 & FY 2020 Program Strategies in a format the prioritizes accessibility for nonprofit organizations.

  • Support to nonprofit partners to strengthen their ability to communicate their own stories and that of their communities.

  • Communications training for Foundation staff and elevation of staff voices.

  • Strengthened Foundation use of storytelling and ability to share our progress and learnings.

  • Update of the Foundation’s website to be more accessible and readable.